Author: Lucy Christopher
Publication Date: May 2010
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Romantic thriller (YA)
3/5 *** Good choice, very important and serious YA literature! Watch out, Australia’s creatures are more poisonous than expected!
Lucy Christopher was born in Wales, spent her childhood in Australia until she moved back to the UK. She was lecturer at Bath Spa University teaching creative writing. At the moment she is undertaking a PhD with Bath Spa University which her debut novel Stolen was written as part of. With Stolen she does not only show her knowledge and admiration of the Australian landscape, but brings up the very important topic of the Stockholm syndrome.
Minutes before 16-year-old Gemma Thooms is supposed to leave with her parents for holidays, she meets beautiful Ty at the airport and spontaneously takes a flight to Australia with him to live on an outback farm with nothing but horizon and sand around it… happy end? Oh sorry, I forgot to mention the problem: Ty drugs Gemma when he meets her at the airport and takes her to a place she never wanted to go to. He is convinced to love Gemma and expects her to love him back, although Gemma swears she has never seen him before.
Gemma never had the chance to sense her true identity in crowded London, so when she is taken away to Australia by Ty, she has to decide whether to break free of her old life in London or of her kidnapper.
In the boiling heat of Australia only surrounded by loneliness and Ty, will Gemma be able to fall in love with him? Fall in love with the man who kidnapped her, stole her body and now wants her heart?
I enjoyed Gemma retelling her story always addressing her kidnapper Ty in form of a letter. Her story is very detailed which not necessarily means boring, but realistic and authentic.
On the one hand I became curious when I read that this novel by Lucy Christopher was part of her doctoral program. On the other hand I was almost afraid that it would contain a whole bunch of scientific terms or explanations I could never understand (don’t fear it doesn’t). Stolen is a novel which connects YA literature with serious research and relevant social topics! Very different and deep!
~ We love this book because…~
1) a small snake has never been such a great hero before
2) of its strong female protagonist Gemma who is willing to share her very true personal thoughts and feelings with us
3) of its rich colours that transform Australia into our home for some hours
4) it has meaning
5) Lucy Christopher makes us feel for both, captor and captive
In Stolen, the reader is invited to explore the beauty and vastness of Australia’s desert, and behind it the infinite abyss a human soul can contain. I expected this YA novel to be a romantic kidnapping story with a foreseeable happy end, but it turned out as a serious appeal to pay attention to victims affected by the Stockholm syndrome, a not very popular, but still important topic. If you are interested in a new type of YA fiction and something serious, then Stolen is just perfect for you!